Monday, September 9, 2013

So Here I Am

So here I am again, writing in my garden, on my trusty iPad Mini. It's a pleasantly warm day in early Spring. I have watered the garden, washed the car and swept the back steps. The vacuum cleaner is charging, preparatory to being used. I am feeling virtuous. 

The weather is conducive to my on-again, off-again daily walking habit, so at present it's on again. That and healthy eating is having me lose weight at a gradual, steady pace and feel energetic. 

My life is comfortable. It suits me. I am essentially doing the same things I've been doing for decades. I have even more freedom now to do just as I please, without taking a house mate into account. Yes, I still have anguished moments; I still miss him and would prefer he were here — if that could be in vibrant health — but I make do, and find ways to enjoy my solitary life. What a blessing that I have always liked my own company, and in fact have always needed plenty of solitude between interactions. There are still interactions, on and off-line. I need them too, of course, as we all do, and I'm lucky they are there.

This dear, daggy little town we came to live in 19 years ago suits me too. It's surrounded by the natural beauty I love, it has all the shops and services I need, and enough people here know me either as friends or acquaintances. I love small towns, where you can't walk down the street without exchanging greetings with someone you know — usually several people. I grew up in one (Launceston, before it was a city) and I'm glad to be spending this end of my life in another. Actually I am spending it in a region, and many of the surrounding villages are familiar and nurturing too.

I can't walk around town or drive around the area without Andrew being everywhere, in memories that spring to life every moment. When we came here, I was glad that this was one place which (previous husband) Bill and I had never explored in our travels around Australia. We always meant to go and check out Nimbin some day (famous hippy town) which would have meant going through Murwillumbah, but we never did. So there were no memories of Bill and me imprinted on this place. Likewise, Andrew had not been here before. We came to a new place for us, to conduct our new marriage. 

And we loved it from the start. 'Australia's best-kept secret,' we said, and, 'Paradise!'  We continued to love it. We missed our families, all the more so as we aged and made fewer visits back to Melbourne, while they acquired more and more responsibilities and made fewer visits to us. But the thought of leaving this locality was never desirable.

This place is my home, and it is full of Andrew. That still occasionally causes a pang, but mostly it's a pleasure, and adds to my sense of belonging. Nowadays I am more often remembering further back than the recent difficult years of illness and decline. I guess I had to work through them awhile and release all the pent-up emotions. Now it's a pleasure to recall all the rest of our life together, and the adventures great and small.

I could no doubt continue these 'chronicles' indefinitely — and no doubt I shall, in some form. But it seems to me that this is a logical point at which to end this blog, having traversed my first year of widowhood and reached some peace. I'll continue posting about my life back at my SnakyPoet personal blog.

I have just realised that on this date last year we held Andrew's wake. A fitting completion date indeed.

The next project is to turn this account into a book — perhaps including poems I wrote on the same topic, and private journal entries which at the time felt too personal to share. Thank you very much to those who suggested it should be a book, thereby motivating me to try and make it happen.

I'll keep you posted! I'll leave this blog up as an archive, and as a place to tell you about the book, when that comes to fruition.

Thank you all for reading, and for your kind and understanding comments.


  1. I dont know if I should congratulate you for completing this journey or say I am sorry....I can't wait to learn more about the book. And I can't wait to read it! Today is 25 years that my dad passed away. So much of my life has changed during this time, but yet, I still see and feel him with me...

    1. Oh, thank you Hilary! I'm afraid it may be a bit of a wait, but I really appreciate your encouragement.

  2. YES please do make it into a book yes yes yes - a worthy endeavor well suited for the world!!!!!

    1. Bless you! You are always so supportive and encouraging, and I appreciate it.

  3. I wish I have done this journey back in the days, I saw others posts before this one so, I don't know yet, if you changed your mind on stopping those chronicles.

    Your next move, I'm talking about the book is a very good idea, hope you'll pursue it to the end.


    1. Thank you, Grace. It is going to be a big job. During November I am occupied with some poetry challenges, so this book might happen slowly.


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